/ By admindesert

Certain forms of addiction may connect to one another in certain ways for some people, and a common example of this is the possible link that exists in some people between sexual addiction and substance abuse. These forms of addiction can often be fueled by similar brain chemical changes or stimulations, and while they certainly don’t always go together, it’s not uncommon to see one fuel the other. 

At Desert Solace, we’re happy to provide caring, compassionate pornography and sex addiction recovery services, offered on both an inpatient and outpatient basis depending on your needs and comfort. Why do some people struggle with a combination of substance abuse and sex addiction, how can they fuel each other, and how can caring treatment help address both sides of this coin? Here’s a look at some important information.

Brain Chemistry is Often a Key Factor

While this isn’t necessarily true in every case, a common cause of both these forms of addiction is a desire to stimulate the brain’s reward system. When people engage in sex or use a substance like alcohol, the brain may release powerful chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin which can lead to feelings of pleasure and elation.

As time goes on, more and more of that same type of stimulation is required to achieve the same result, leading people down a dangerous path toward addiction. This same chemical reaction can happen with either sex or substance abuse, and for some people, both of these activities can become part of a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

Enjoyment Isn't Usually the Driving Factor

One of the largest myths about various forms of addiction is that those who are struggling simply enjoy the activity too much, and that’s why they’re addicted. However, this isn’t necessarily true. While it often starts out as enjoyable behavior, addiction can quickly become more about trying to self-medicate emotional pain or find relief from stress and other issues than it is about simple pleasure-seeking.

For instance, those who deal with sex addiction often use the activity to drown out their frustrations, loneliness, and stress. On the flip side, many people who become addicted to substances do so in an effort to numb painful emotions or cope with difficult life circumstances.

One Can Fuel the Other

Unfortunately, especially with areas like substance abuse and sex addiction – which both involve powerful brain chemistry changes – it’s not uncommon to see one addiction fuel the other. In some cases, people may use sex as a way to maintain their substance abuse issues or vice versa.

For instance, someone may turn to substances to lower inhibitions and courage in order to engage in sexual activities they wouldn’t normally participate in. Alternatively, people may use substances to escape from the guilt and shame of sexual behavior they feel ashamed of.

In either case, it’s important to address both aspects of this type of addiction in order for long-term recovery success to happen.

Causes Aren't Always the Same

To be clear, we don’t want to paint with too broad a brush here. The causes of both substance abuse and sex addiction can vary widely from one person to the next, and in some cases there may not be any connection at all between these two forms of addiction.

That being said, it’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for them to go hand-in-hand in certain cases. If you or someone you love is struggling with both sex and substance abuse addiction, the caring professionals at Desert Solace are here to help.

How Treatment Can Help With Both

Luckily, for those who suffer from one or both of these issues, there is hope. Professional addiction recovery treatment can address both substance abuse and sex addiction simultaneously. In most cases, this involves a combination of therapy and support groups to help identify underlying causes of the behavior and create personalized plans for long-term sobriety.

Through our inpatient rehab program and/or intensive outpatient therapies, you’ll be able to gain the knowledge and tools you need to overcome these issues. Patients can work with our team of counselors, therapists, and other trained professionals to begin their journey toward a healthier life.

At Desert Solace, we understand how scary this process can seem – but we want you to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Our compassionate team is here to provide the support and guidance you need in order to make it through this difficult time. Contact us today for information about any of our programs and how we can help.